I am a first year CSE grad student. I have been working with a professor for more than half a year now. The topic looks like a deadend and I do not know how to tell him the same. Ironically, he is a nice guy and has supported me all the way through.
My prof meets with me twice a week and brainstorms with me about possible avenues of this research. The sad part, I think, my prof is not sure if a particular line of research of work may be successful or not. I am not looking for a foolproof way of doing research. At least, 5 out of 10 attempts should be successful, I guess. Correct me, if I am wrong. Currently, I just feel like a mule trying to implement his ideas. There seems to be no theoretical justification for why a particular avenue could lead to good results. I could as well implement my own ideas and probably could have a better success rate.
This is not how I expected my project to turn out. Around 90% of the time, I just keep working on Code (writing code and fixing bugs), without any learning I can take away for future. Only 10% of the time, I just read some conference papers related to this topic. It is just too much of study in a small highly specialized area.
I love to understand new concepts and teach them to others, hence the reason I started out for Ph.D. (so that I can settle down as a Prof). Now I am not sure if I am preparing myself for a career in academia as most of the time I just keep working on Code - There is nothing new to learn so that I can teach to my future students.
I expected research to be more theoretically enriching but it is turning out to be the exact opposite.
These long hours have already taken a toll on me. I am missing out on the 'enjoy your research part'. When I started out, I had this zeal for research and enjoyed the work. It has been one year. Now, I just want to publish whatever results I have already with us, in any 2-tier journal/conference, without further go down this route.
But, my professor expects me to keep trying.
Sometimes, I feel I am better off with any supervisor. At least, I can study stuff which I like to.